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    Posted February 2, 2014 by
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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    Prisoner of conscience Mr Bekele Gerba's life in danger due to lack of medical care


    Mr Bekele Gerba is Ethiopian prisoner of conscience and former lecturer in Addis Ababa University. His life seem to be in danger due to lack of medical care. He has served the 3 year and 6 months imprisonment almost one month ago. However, he is still suffering in notorious Ethiopian prison with serious ailment simply because Ethiopian government don’t want to release him even after he served his time behind the bar. Mr Bekele is a father of four young children who needs him most this time.



    In the interview with local radio station known as Afuura Biyyaa, his daughter Ms. Bontu Bekele told the journalists what she observed while visiting her father recently.  According to Bontu, ‘’more than 200 prisoners of conscience in the same prison are suffering from similar ailment.’’ Hence, she is worried that the probability of having contagious disease is very high. This shades dark light on the life all prisoners as all of them are suffering from similar symptoms like; night sweats, body fatigue, weight loss and heavy fever.


    The families of Mr. Bekele are left helpless as their mother has also lost her job due to political views of her husband.  Addis Ababa University immediately suspended his salary from the day he was arrested even before he is convicted before the regime's kangaroo court. Ms. Bontu pledged all humanitarian and international community to put pressure on Ethiopian government to save her father’s life.

    The following paragraph is quoted from Mr. Bekele’s speech in court after hearing his fine.

    "In my life time, I have opposed injustice, discrimination, ethnic favoritism, and oppression. I am honored to learn that my non-violent struggles and humble sacrifices for the democratic and human rights of the Oromo people, to whom I was born without a wish on my part but due to the will of the Almighty, have been considered a crime and to be unjustly convicted... If apology was warranted, I would seek it not from the court that found me guilty of a crime I did not commit but rather from my people as well as the Almighty; from my people for failing to fully speak to the depth of their suffering in the interest of the co-existence of peoples and from the Creator if my zealous defence of the rights of the Oromo people was done to further my personal interest or to aggrandize my personal fame rather than to promote the long-term desire of all people of the country to live in freedom, dignity and equality." ~ Bekele Gerba



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